EVE Online's largest economic hub is currently under attack by a massive alliance of the game's most ruthless players, infamously known as "Goonswarm," and they may succeed in damaging it. For those who haven't heard of it, EVE is a gargantuan space-based MMO from developer CCP Games that's been home to several rich tales of high-stakes drama since it launched in 2003. The open-ended game is like a Hobbesian dreamworld in its no-security ("null-sec") areas, that are open to scamming, murder, corporate espionage, economic manipulation, ruthless warmongering, and mind-boggling heists. But many of EVE's law abiding players stay within safe high-security ("hi-sec") areas that have mostly protected them from null-sec raiders, much to the chagrin of Goonswarm and its allies. According to some players, many of those in null-sec, including Goonswarm and its leader, resent hi-sec's existence and aim to force their vision of the game on hi-sec players (who they insultingly refer to as "empire dwellers"). To accomplish that, they're waging economic warfare and aiming to strike fear into all those who play in hi-sec space.
Following a 30-day ban that resulted from his efforts to mock a suicidal player, Goonswarm leader Alexander "The Mittani" Gianturco is leading "Burn Jita:" an attack on hi-sec space that's intended to crash the game's market for an important resource and cut off trillions of player-made assets through blockades. Eurogamer reports that The Mittani and his team of over 1,500 players have spent months planning the Jita attack, and have built an army of 15,000 small, single-purpose suicide ships that render the protection of Hi-sec's AI police useless. So far, they've destroyed thousands of ships, and continue to attack vessels in hi-sec space — but it's not clear if the attack has succeeded in crashing the market, as conflicting reports about its stability have surfaced on the web.
While other MMO developers would likely prevent such a scenario from occurring, CCP welcomes Goonswarm's efforts. EVE Online senior producer Jon Lander tells Eurogamer that Goonswarm "is going to do exactly what you're able to do in the game, and people will have to roll with it" — he says the attack on Jita is "absolutely brilliant." And lead game designer Kistoffer Touborg tells Eurogamer that "we want people to be able to do this. If Goonswarm want to do it, we want them to do it and we want them to have a great time doing it." Touborg adds that "the worst thing we could do is to stop it happening... it would be against everything we stand for."
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